Well folks it’s summertime here in Texas, the April Showers which seem to have started in February and lingered until June seem to have finally wandered off somewhere, school is out, and families are hitting the road. So I thought today we could discuss that 1983 classic educational film on “How Not To Vacation”…National Lampoon’s Vacation.
The poor Griswolds. How they suffer. From being saddled with unexpected family, to Wally World being closed for repairs when they finally arrive, to dragging that poor lil pooch a couple miles, the Griswolds stumble their way through a typical swing-and-a-miss style family vacation that more than likely every single one of us has been on at some point in our lives. Like Spinal Tap was to professional musicians, so is Vacation to the art of family travel.
BUT, the star of Vacation is of course the fictional, awful, hideous, piece-of-crap Wagon Queen Family Truckster. “You think you hate it now? Wait til you drive it.” snarky, greasy, crooked-as-a-left-handed-football-bat salesman Eugene Levy mutters under his breath. You see, the day before the family is supposed to leave for California, Clark Griswold arrives at the car lot to pick up his Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with the CB and the optional Rally Package, but is tricked and extorted into driving off in the Metallic Pea Wagon Queen Family Truckster…which of course is the largest lemon vehicle in the history of lemons. And vehicles.
The Wagon Queen Family Truckster started out life as a Ford LTD Country Squire that was modified to be a sarcastic, cynical comment on all those huge, hideous, “tricked out with options” lemons being foisted on the American public in the late 70’s. This thing has EIGHT headlights, and is absolutely covered in fake wood paneling. The grill hardly even exists, and has two tiny lil slits in it, so you know the engine runs nice and warm…all the way across the American Southwest. In the summertime. Needless to say, failures ensue!